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How Dining Habits Vary Across the Different Generations

Eating habits have gradually changed from generation to generation.  Whenever you observe a group of age-diverse people, you would obviously tell how dissimilar their lifestyle is, thus resulting in differences to their eating routines.   A good restaurant, café or other establishment providing food should keep this in mind when setting menus or marketing their business.   Consider who you are marketing to or catering for.  

People nowadays have busy, on-the-go ways of life that influence their preferences for quick and instant meals.  Most often, they opt for fast food meals that are generally unhealthier.  Some also prefer to take snacks rather than full meals.  Because of the new generation's need for prompt food accessibility, instant, quick-fix and fast-food types are remarkably prevailing in the market in recent years.  However, today’s generation leisurely acclimatize the trend of home cooking.  It is now part of the fad to learn how to cook, create a recipe or develop an existing one.  For that reason, some of our young generation prefers to stay at home and cook.

The variations of the eating habits of the different generations have become a major factor in the development and innovation within the food industry.  Restaurants, cafes, even hospitals and aged care facilities are modifying their goods and services offered to the consumers.
Here are some key situations where eating habits of young and older generation differ:

Eating Out

The younger generation obviously prefers eating out more often than the older generation.  The boomers, on the other hand, like it better to sit in the dining room and spend time eating with the rest of the family.  Our grandparents also see eating out as a rare occurrence most likely to be considered during special occasions.  For this reason, when they do eat out, they are looking for quality.

Studies also show that the younger generation opts for fast casual restaurants over casual dining establishments and quick service restaurants or commonly called fast-food joints.  This can be attributed to their need of fast service but with healthier options still desired.

Definition of healthy

The concern to having healthy food on the table can be traced back to our very beginnings. However, the older generation was pretty concerned with the number of calories and amount of sugar in the food items while the younger generation’s characterization of healthy is all about fresh, natural, less processed, fewer artificial ingredients and organic food is also very important. 

It has also been shown that with the older generation’s healthy eating habits, our grandparents in their time get to have the standard slim waistline and healthier bodies.  However, today’s generation has luckily discovered variations of healthier food items that contribute highly to having overall wellbeing.  

Most surveys and researches have shown that fast-food restaurants are still the most highly and frequently visited food establishments.   Also, with the major influence of social media, they opt to be associated with food companies that are popular, affluently recognized and with good social ethics.  The older generation prefers restaurants that have established it's name for quality service and delectable goods.  The younger generation opts for food establishments that top the trend.

Routines also vary

The older generation has a stricter routine.  Our grandparents typically had their meals at the same time every day that makes the body accustomed to knowing when to expect food.  Nowadays, the young generation has lost track to this discipline and has apparently disregarded the three-meal-a-day-rule.  They tend to skip breakfast a lot and habitually prefer snacks over full meal. The very important breakfast is commonly replaced by a cup of coffee.  Snacks were never heard of in the old days unlike today where restaurants sell food 24/7 and have them available to grab anytime of the day.  In the old days, our parents and grandparents also set a scheduled routine on what particular food to eat on that certain day.   Who remembers Sunday being roast day?   This of course led to Mondays being a meal based on left overs.  

The change of eating habits of the old and new generation when it comes to convenience only differs by the time frame.  Long time ago, convenient foods are typically those in tin cans, microwavable and are unwholesome.  Meanwhile, in this day and age, the concept of having convenient food can be made possible even with wanting fresh, natural and healthier options.  There are easy-to-prepare meals made of vegetables, fruits, and proteins. Restaurants which are innovative and keeping up with the times (and recognising and responding to the demands of their clientele)  are now offering menus with quick, sumptuous, and wellness-filled items. 

Clean eating

Despite all the variations of dining habits across the generations, there is absolutely one eating habit that does not change through the passing of generations and that is the habit of clean eating.  Wherever, whenever, and however people want to eat, they always prefer clean food in clean environment.  From our ancestors, grandparents, parents and to this present day, we all expect establishments that  not only offer decadent and quick service but clean and safe eating experience as well.   Companies that sell hygienic products to restaurants, cafes, hospitals, and any other aged care facilities can adapt to any changes of eating habits because their role as a constant aid in providing food safety and sanitation is never changing.

EnviroChill is a specialist service provider for the food industry, helping businesses to ensure healthy, clean and safe refrigerated food storage.  Whether it is coldroom cleaning, 24/7 hygiene systems or new automated temperature monitoring programs, EnviroChill provides peace of mind that your high standards of food safety are maintained and waste is minimized.  If you would like any information on our services, please call Trinity on 0415 168 729.